Supporting documents & other evidence
As part of your visa application, you must provide your passport and visa (or Biometric Residence Permit) and you may also be required to include other documents to support your application. Listed below is the evidence that you may be required to provide, with information about each.
Differentiation arrangements for applicants from certain countries (updated 06.07.18)
If you are from one of the countries listed below, you are only required to provide mandatory documents as part of your application. You should not provide documents such as financial evidence, previous qualifications or evidence of English language unless specifically asked to do so. However, you must still meet all the requirements, including having sufficient money in your account when you apply:
Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Botswana, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, The Dominican Republic, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, The Maldives, Mexico, New Zealand, Qatar, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, United States of America.
In addition, holders of a passport from the following authorities will also be considered under the differentiation arrangements:
British National (Overseas), Hong Kong, Macau SAR, Taiwan (those who hold a passport issued by Taiwan that includes the number of the identification card issued by the competent authority in Taiwan)
This information is stated in the Immigration Rules
Tier 4 Pilot Scheme
If you are coming to study one-year Master's programme (less than 13 months) in 2018/2019, you will automatically be included in the Tier 4 Pilot Scheme and you are only required to provide mandatory documents as part of your application. You should not provide documents such as financial evidence, previous qualifications or evidence of English language. However, you must still meet all the requirements, including having sufficient money in your account when you apply.
Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
If you are already studying at Durham and need to apply for a visa to complete your current programme or transfer to a new one, you should request your CAS online as early as possible before you apply for your visa.
If you are coming to study at Durham for the first time or you are a current student applying for a new programme your CAS will be issued automatically by the relevant admissions office for your programme.
You are not required to submit your CAS as a supporting document, only enter the CAS number on your application.
Your visa application requires you to confirm that you have enough money while you are in the UK and cover any course fees you have not yet paid.
If you are from one of the countries listed under the Differentiation Arrangements (above) or you are applying under the Tier 4 Pilot Scheme (also see above) you are not required to provide finanial evidence to support your application, however you must still meet all the requirements as you could be asked for evidence at a later date.
If you are not from one of the countries listed above, you must provide evidence that you can meet the financial requirements.
Qualifications: Certificates & transcripts
If you are from one of the countries listed under the Differentiation Arrangements (above) or you are applying under the Tier 4 Pilot Scheme (also see above) you are not required to provide evidence of your qualifications when you apply for your visa, however you must still keep the evidence as you could be asked for it at a later date.
If you are not from one of the countries listed above, you must provide evidence of your qualifications as follows:
If you are starting a new programme at Durham University, you are required to provide the original final certificate(s) or transcript(s) of the qualifications* that you used to apply. These qualifications will be listed on your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) when it is issued to you.
Details of acceptable final certificates and transcripts are available in the Tier 4 Policy Guidance.
*Please note: If you are applying through UCAS and you previously studied in the UK, your qualifications can be verified online and no certificate or transcript is required
If your original certificate(s) or transcript(s) is not in English then you must provide an official translation.
If you are extending your visa to continue or complete the same programme, you do not have to provide any original certificates or transcripts.
Translations of documents not in English
If your original certificate (or transcript) is not in English then this must be translated and fully certified by a professional translator.
The translation must include all of the following:
- Details of the translator / translation company’s credentials
- Confirmation that it is an accurate translation of the original document
- The translator / translation company’s contact details
The translator's name, original signature and date of translation
Applications in the UK
If you are applying for a visa in the UK, the translation companies below may be able to help and have confirmed that they provide translations that meet UKVI requirements for official translations*:
Dr. Binghan Zheng
- Based in Elvet Riverside, Durham University
- Email copy of documents to email above
- Translation of one degree certificate: £30
- Normally available within 2 working days
- Translation of transcripts (if required) will be based on cost of translating time, and will be charged case by case
Eldon Bureau Company Ltd
- Based in Newcastle city centre
- Phone: (0191) 2323623
- Charges depend on the word count, but are around £48 for the translation of two certificates. Payment can only be made by cash or by cheque.
1st Transnational Translations
- Based in Newcastle city centre
- Phone: 0191 203 7777
*Please note that Durham University is unable to accept any responsibility for any problems arising from using the translator.
If you are from one of the countries listed under the Differentiation Arrangements (above) or you are applying under the Tier 4 Pilot Scheme (also see above) you are not required to provide evidence of your English langue ability when you apply for your visa, however you must still keep the evidence as you could be asked for it at a later date.
If you are not from one of the countries listed above, you must provide evidence of your English language ability as follows:
UKVI approved English language tests and providers
When you apply to study at Durham University you will be asked to provide a number of documents including evidence that you meet the required level of English language competence to study on your chosen programme.
Demonstrating that you meet the required level for your chosen programme and also the UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) minimum English language requirement (level B2 in the CEFR scale in all four components) usually means passing a Secure English Language Test (SELT).
If you take a SELT on or after 6th April 2015, the test and test centre should be listed on the UKVI list of Approved Secure English Language Test and Test Centres.
Read our Frequently Asked Questions below for further help.
Supporting evidence for visa applications
If you have met the entry requirements for your chosen programme and have been made an unconditional offer,your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) will state the SELT certificate you used in your application to study at Durham University.
As part of your Tier 4 visa application:
- You must provide the original SELT certificate stated on your CAS
If your evidence of English language is accepted by the University, it will be acceptable for your Tier 4 visa application.
Please note: If you used different evidence of your English language ability when you applied to Durham University, you may not have to provide the evidence as part of your visa application. Any evidence you do need to provide will be confirmed on your CAS.
You do not need to provide evidence of your English language ability if you are a national of a majority English speaking country or you have recently completed a qualification at least equivalent to a UK Bachelor's Degree, taught in a majority English Speaking country. This will be confirmed on your CAS and you may not have to provide further evidence (only of your previous study, if stated on your CAS).
Pre-sessional English Language students
If you have an unconditional offer for one of our pre-sessional English language programmes and a conditional offer for your main degree programme, your CAS will state the qualification you provided to demonstrate that you meet the UKVI minimum English language requirement (level B1 in the CEFR scale in all four components) for this type of programme.
You must provide evidence of the English language qualification listed on your CAS as part of your Tier 4 visa application.
Q: Can I use a UKVI non-approved test to apply for a pre-sessional programme?
A: No. UKVI do not allow Universities to undertake self-assessment on programmes below degree level, therefore this is not possible.
Q. When booking an IELTS test at a UKVI approved test centre, which type of test should I choose?
A. When booking your IELTS test at a UKVI approved test centre, you should choose 'IELTS for UKVI' if given the option to do so.
Q: I’ve been accepted on a pre-sessional programme but I’ve got an IELTS retake scheduled at a non-approved test centre. Can I use this to shorten the length of my pre-sessional programme?
A: This is a decision for your academic department to make as they will need to decide if the new IELTS score justifies a reduction in the length of your pre-sessional programme on academic grounds. The decision is not related to the type of SELT you may hold.
Q: I have recently retaken my IELTS at a non-approved test centre and can’t use it for pre-sessional entry. However, I do have an older IELTS certificate, can I use that instead?
A: No. UKVI do not allow Universities to accept a SELT certificate from a non-approved test centre for programmes below degree level, therefore this is not possible.
Q: I am doing the 4 week pre-sessional programme. Can I have one CAS to cover this and my main programme?
A: Yes, some applicants may be eligible to receive a CAS whcih covers both pre-sessional and main programme, providing all entry requirements have been met.
If this is the case, you will automatically be issued with a CAS which covers bothe pre-sessional and main programme, where possible. In this case, you will only need to make one Tier 4 visa application for the full duration of your study.
Q: Which test centres are offering UKVI approved IELTS?
If youare applying to extyend your visa in the UK, you must provide two new UK passport sized* photos with your application.
The photos should have been taken very recently in the UK and you should not use any photos which you have used previously on a passport, visa, Police registration or for any other purpose.
Carefully follow the instructions on any photo machine in the city and this should guarantee the correct size and specification.
*must be 'UK passport' sized photos. 'Visa' sized photos obtained in photo machines will not be the correct size.
Write your name (in English) on the back and place the photo in an envelope.
Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance
Your CAS will tell you if you need to have clearance from ATAS, though it usually applies to postgraduate students studying certain science, engineering or technology subjects.
If you do need ATAS clearance, apply online as soon as possible and allow at least 6 weeks for them to email you your certificate.
Once received, you should print the certificate and send with your other supporting documents.
Doctorate Extension Scheme applicants
If you required ATAS clearance to study on your current programme, while ATAS clearance is not required for the time you spend on the DES, you may be required to apply for a new ATAS certificate if:
"...you are currently studying a course (or period of research) that requires an ATAS Clearance Certificate, and your course end date given on the CAS is postponed for a period of more than 3 calendar months, you must apply for a new ATAS Clearance Certificate to cover the rest of your time on that course." (Tier 4 Policy Guidance)
Therefore, you will need to apply for an ATAS Clearance Certificate if the end date stated on your DES CAS is more than 3 months after the end date that was stated on the CAS you used for your Tier 4 Student visa.
If you are applying to extend your visa in the UK and your current visa states that you are required to register with the Police, you should already have a Police Registration Certificate and you must provide this with your other support documents.
If this applies to you, your certificate must be up to date and show the address where you will be living when you apply for your visa.
If you apply for a visa from your home country, you are not required to provide a Police Registration Certifcate even if you have held one previously.